In a news story yesterday WRAL Capitol Bureau Chief Laura Leslie (fresh from public Radio) talks quotes Rep. Rick Glazier (D- Cumberland) as saying the session was unconstitutional. Leslie goes on to say “The override process could also be unconstitutional. Republican lawmakers didn’t follow the constitutional procedure to call themselves into session, opting instead for a legislative shortcut …” without giving any evidence as to how they violated the constitution. This despite earlier interviews with a professor who said it was likely constitutional and other , non lawmakers, saying the action was constitutional.
If she had stopped there it would be one thing but she goes on to say in the story that “It’s certainly not the first time those laws have been broken…” What laws have been broken? Again no evidence, just a claim. If laws are being “broken” someone needs to be brought to justice. I think Toby Kieth and Willie Nelson did a song about justice, beer and horses… Saying these things in a broadcast news report will leave the impression with viewers that legislators are violating the law and constitution in their actions, of course that may be the point.
Unfortunately we have seen a lot of reporting this year similar to this on the budget, Regulatory Reform, Voter ID, DOMA etc. While we know most in the media lean left they always claim that it does not influence their reporting. Prior to this year WRAL did not have a “Capitol Bureau Chief” and only covered the legislature sporadically. If WRAL’s aim was to give people objective reporting on what was happening on Jones Street I think they may have missed the mark. If initiating full coverage was an attempt to paint an unflattering picture of a legislature that is newly under Republican control – it might be succeeding.